Cultivating Healthy Habits
March 11, 2014
Healthy behaviors can enhance well-being. They prevent, treat or even cure disease. Making good food choices, exercising, relaxing and avoiding unhealthy behaviors are important to lifelong health and wellness. The trick is in knowing how we can change to healthy habits.
I wanted to talk this month about two things Samueli Institute is doing to help educate individuals to make healthy choices. The first is a world-class conference for health care professionals that will take place later this month in Napa, California, Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives. The conference is collaboration between Samueli Institute, the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health that immerses primary care physicians and other health professionals in the state of the science in nutrition, and then teams them with professionals from the Culinary Institute of America to give them skills in planning and preparing healthy meals at home.
Over the years thousands of health care professionals have learned new skills and gained confidence in both the academics of nutrition science and the practical knowledge to turn science into action. The course is led by Samueli Institute Executive Vice President David Eisenberg, MD, who last year published results of follow-up surveys with participants in JAMA Internal Medicine that showed physicians who attended Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives reported significant changes in frequency of cooking their own meals, personal consumption of healthier food choices, greater awareness of their caloric consumption, and increased ability to assess a patient’s nutritional status and advise on nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Moreover physicians who ate more healthy diets were more apt to counsel their patients on healthier eating and lifestyle habits, thus paying the healthy habit forward and making smart choices contagious.
To support individuals in their efforts to create healthy habits at home and use the principals of the Optimal Healing Environment in their daily lives, Samueli Institute created an online resource, Your Healing Journey, which offers basic background information on healthy living and self-care. We also developed a set of online tools to provide introductory videos on everything from meditation to journaling to Tai chi. Since we launched the project last year we have distributed thousands of copies of the book in communities of need around the country.
You can help share this free resource on your base, in your place or in your community by sharing the link www.SamueliInstitute.org/Inspire.
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Wayne B. Jonas, MD
President and CEO
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